Madeline Matson, Missouri River Regional Library
Madeline Matson has spent much of her career surrounded by books — both in her current role as a reference and adult programming librarian at Missouri River Regional Library and as a publication editor
and coordinator of the Missouri Center for the Book at the Missouri State Library prior. While she’s always been in the book business, she also spends a lot of time working with people and planning informative and entertaining public programs.
Madeline partnered with Lincoln University in 2019 to start a collaborative lecture series about research happening at the university. This monthly program has covered such topics as native plants, Missouri monsters, medicinal marijuana, food insecurities, race, and election politics. In addition, she helps plan other monthly programs at the library, including birdwatching, music, Civil War history, edible fl owers, and health topics. This year, a memorable program was a Japanese tea ceremony where attendees learned the ceremonial significance of matcha tea.
Libraries are one of the most important community resources. We offer something for everyone and for all ages.
“Libraries are one of the most important community resources,” Madeline says. “We off er something for everyone and for all ages. It really is the best place to be in our community.”
Madeline coordinates the annual Capital READ program, which brings a well-known author to Jefferson City and plans programs related to the book. She is also responsible for the art exhibit program in the gallery on the second floor of the library featuring the art of local artists. While Madeline spends a lot of time planning programs for the library, she also serves as a reference librarian, answering questions people might have about books or other research information. It is a rewarding, yet humbling, job to answer those questions.
“Every day is different and presents a different challenge. We get all different questions such as, ‘I just got diagnosed with a disease and need more information.’ We deal with all ages and all walks of life.”
It was her early love of reading that inspired Madeline to pursue a journalism and library science degree. Her love of learning extends into her personal life as well. She’s been a literacy tutor for more than 20 years, even tutoring international students, and is currently working with a female Afghan refugee in the community. She also serves on the ABLE Learning Center board of directors, an organization that equips volunteers to assist students with improving their reading skills.
She is also the author of the book “Food in Missouri: A Cultural Stew,” a publication in the Missouri Heritage Readers Series published by the University of Missouri Press.
Even after several decades as a librarian, she still finds joy in introducing people to a new book or planning an informative and educational program. She’s always happy to share what she’s currently reading if someone she meets is in search of their next great read.
Madeline’s recent book list:
“Small Mercies” by Dennis Lehane
“Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt
“Small Things Like These” by Claire Keegan
“Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O’Connell’s Urgent Mission to
Bring Healing to Homeless People” by Tracy Kidder
“Rebel with a Clause: Tales and Tips from a Roving
Grammarian” by Ellen Jovin